What is it?

Chlamydia is the most common STI and is caused by a bacteria called Chlamydia Trachomatis. Chlamydia can cause infections of the urethra (the tube that runs through your penis), the throat or the rectum.

How do I get Chlamydia?

You can get Chlamydia in your penis or rectum through giving or receiving anal sex. You can also get Chlamydia in your throat or penis through oral sex. You can also get Chlamydia through fingering or fisting your or someone else’s anus. It is possible to have Chlamydia in more than one area of the body (e.g. anus and throat) at the same time. It is possible to get Chlamydia more than once.

What symptoms or signs might I notice?

Most men have no symptoms of Chlamydia. For those that do, symptoms usually appear between one and six weeks after having unprotected sex and can include:

  • A watery, white or grey discharge from your penis which is most noticeable in the morning
  • Itching or pain when peeing
  • Irritation or soreness around the urethra
  • Pain or swelling in the testicles or
  • pain or discharge in the rectum
  • Pain when you ejaculate.

How will I be tested for Chlamydia?

If you have no symptoms, you can be tested from a urine sample, a self-taken rectal swab and a throat swab. This is also tested for Gonorrhoea at the same time. If you have symptoms a clinical staff member may need to examine you. 

How will I be treated for Chlamydia?

If you test positive, you will be treated with a course of antibiotics and asked to avoid sex for roughly around one week to ensure your treatment has been successful. The sexual health adviser seeing you will also discuss the importance of informing any sexual contacts you may have had within a certain period of time so that they can also access treatment and care.

How can I avoid getting Chlamydia?

Using condoms can reduce the risk of transmission through anal sex; however there is still a risk of getting Chlamydia through oral sex.

What if I’m HIV-positive?

If you are HIV-positive and have a “detectable” viral load, Chlamydia can increase the viral load in your semen. This means that it is easier to pass on HIV while you have Chlamydia.

Where can I get help?

If you think you might have Chlamydia, get a check up at Steve Retson Project or Sandyford sexual health services. Click on the services link for check up options.